Family

Am I There Yet? A vintage girl’s journey across America – Day 2

My brother and his family are visiting from Israel and staying in Spring Hill, TN near Nashville. It’s about a four-hour drive from Atlanta so we piled all the toys my grandson Max (7 years old) wants to give to his Seattle cousin, Lou (2 years old) onto the passenger seat of my car.  This limited my space up front a bit but it was just too hard to open the rooftop carrier and load all 40 pounds of  wooden Thomas the Train engines and tracks.  I now have Thomas and his train friends traveling as passengers in the front seat with the seatbelt engaged to keep the alarm from “dinging” due to their weight.

I’ve always enjoyed the drive from Atlanta to Nashville.  Wendy’s has a terrific chicken and mango salad that I enjoyed at a rest stop overlooking a lake along the way.  It’s a beautiful drive with the elevation changing from flatlands to low mountains.  There’s a downhill section of highway where I like to measure how far I can “coast” without using the gas pedal.  I’m easily amused.

I spent a couple of hours visiting my brother and his family before heading to Montgomery Bell State Park for my first overnight SUV camping experience. I enjoyed the beauty of the drive as well as the fun of driving through lushly green winding roads from Spring Hill to Burns, Tennessee.  The park is 4,000 acres of forests, trails, campgrounds, lakes, a golf course, villas, an inn and restaurant. I paid $13 for my campsite, set everything up and hopped back in the car to locate the restaurant.  The food was just OK, the staff inexperienced but friendly and the view was terrific. You know what?  Who cares.  I was hungry, tired, the flatbread pizza was edible and with a glass Cabernet, I enjoyed just being there.

 

My first night sleeping in the SUV was great.  All  my plans came to fruition.  My window shades worked, my little rechargeable fan kept me so cool that I had to pull up my blanket and my 4-inch memory foam mattress was super comfortable.  I slept like a rock until 4 am and then just had to wait until it started to get light because I won’t roam around a campground alone in the dark.  First light I lit my propane stove to boil some water for coffee in my French press, made up my bed and got everything organized for the day.

Montgomery Bell is such a beautiful state park but I was disappointed that the bath/shower rooms have been neglected and need updating badly.  Nevertheless, I had a nice hot shower, got my makeup and hair done and dressed for the day without melting in the humid shower room.  I relaxed with a cup of coffee while I planned my route for the day.  I wanted to get a little west of St. Louis before stopping for the night.  I’m trying to limit my driving to about 300-350 miles/day so that I have time to enjoy wherever I stay and take my time visiting any locations along the way.

I was very proud and pleased that my SUV bedroom was comfortable and private and everything worked as planned.

Day 2 was a success.  I loved being with my family and enjoyed a comfortable night camping but tomorrow begins the real adventure into parts unknown.  Well, OK, I took a road trip to Missouri Star Quilt Company in Hamilton, MO last with my daughter so I’m not counting Missouri as a complete unknown but I expect there will be an adventure of some sort tomorrow.

Stay tuned.

 

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Categories: Aging Gracefully, Camping, Family, Life, Retirement, road trip, Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Am I There Yet? A vintage girl’s journey across America – Day 1

  • Twin size mattress/bed in back of car – check
  • Two plastic containers for kitchen supplies and miscellaneous stuff – check
  • Duffel bag with travel clothes – check
  • Bath supplies/makeup – check
  • Lotions/potions/pills, etc. – check
  • Afghan, pillows, rechargeable fan – check
  • Gallon bag of home made travel mix – check
  • Gallon of water and Tervis tumbler – check
  • Breakfast supplies/French press/coffee/creamer & energy bars – check
  • Computer/Kindle/iPhone and cords – check
  • Shoes/hiking boots – check
  • Maps, Atlas, brochures, planner, notebooks, pens – check
  • Money, credit cards – check
  • Cold weather clothes & bedding in rooftop carrier – check
  • Inflatable kayak in rooftop carrier – check
  • Extra folding chair & tent in rooftop carrier – check
  • New tires and oil change – check

 

 

OK – I’m ready to boogie.

My first day on the road was the usual mundane drive from Port Charlotte, FL to Atlanta, Georgia that I’ve made so many times to visit my daughter and her family.  Just getting out of Florida is a major accomplishment and boring.  But, since this is MY roadtrip and MY adventure and MY journey of discovery, I stopped to explore a sign I’ve passed a hundred times near Bushnell, Florida,  “Dade Battlefield Historic State Park”.  I’m a bit of a Civil War buff and always thought this was the site of a Civil War battle.  No, it’s the site of a battle fought during the Second Seminole War.

When you drive through the gates you enter a beautiful,  dark green canopied landscape.  Serene. Mysterious.  In December 1835, 108 US troops and officers were marching from Tampa to reinforce Fort King in Ocala when they were attacked by 180 Seminole warriors.  All but three of the soldiers were killed. The Visitor Center is small but provides a 12-minute video explaining the history of the war and the battle, with artifacts, exhibits, weapons and a gift shop.  You can also walk the trail that features interpretive signs and monuments.  Well worth a stop if you’re traveling on I-75 near Bushnell.  I’m a native Floridian and found it fascinating.

I arrived in Atlanta two hours later than expected but was welcomed by my joyous grandson, a wonderful New York strip dinner and a comfortable bed.

Not bad for day 1 of my Great Escape.

 

 

 

Categories: Aging Gracefully, Camping, Family, Life, road trip, Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Or…

Daily PromptOr

My everyday decisions:

  • Get out of bed and exercise OR snuggle in with a cup of coffee and Facebook
  • Wash my hair OR wear a baseball cap
  • Clean the pool OR put my feet up and read a book
  • Take the recycled bin out to the roadway OR wait another week
  • Put on makeup, get dressed, run errands OR stay home and doodle around the house
  • Pay the bills OR go shopping
  • Answer the phone OR  let it go to voice mail
  • Work in the yard OR play with my grandkids
  • Quilt OR crochet
  • Watch HGTV OR read a good book
  • Clean the bathrooms OR float in the pool and read a good book
  • Go grocery shopping OR eat an unidentified object from the refrigerator
  • Clean the house OR meet a girlfriend for lunch
  • Take my daily walk at sunrise OR sunset
  • Send a text to my kids OR call them
  • Cook dinner OR go out for Happy Hour and appetizers
  • Scotch OR wine

Either/or, neither/nor …. Life is good.

wine

Categories: Aging Gracefully, Daily Prompt, Family, Humor, Life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

A Day in the Life of a Drama Queen

Daily Prompt – Dramatic 

The definition of “drama”?  A day in the life of a tweenie.

Whining kid:  “Mom, all my friends wear high heels to school.  I don’t want to wear sneakers to school anymore.  I’m not a little kid.  You just want me to be ugly.  You want me to be different.  You don’t want me to be popular.  You want me to be a geek.”

Me:  “I don’t care what all your friends wear, you’re not wearing high heels in 6th grade.”

But, after another 24 hours of whining, pouting, tears and hysteria and noticing how she unsteadily navigated in the little kitten heels bought for her cousin’s wedding I caved.

Me:  “I’ve given it some thought and decided that you are now old enough to make wise decisions.  You can wear those shoes to school if you want, just like all your friends.”

The next afternoon I watched her hobbling toward the house holding her shoes in her hand and wincing with each barefoot step.

Whining kid:  “Mom, you did that on purpose!  You knew I’d get blisters from wearing those shoes.  I had to go to the nurse’s office to get bandaids and then I had to line my shoes with toilet paper to keep them from rubbing and the toilet paper fell out of my shoe and people laughed and it’s all your fault!  You ruined my life.  I’ll never forgive you for this.  Wait til I tell Dad what you did.  He’ll divorce you and I’ll live with him and he won’t make my friends laugh at me.”

Me:  “Sweetheart, I didn’t force you to wear those shoes.  As a matter of fact I didn’t want you to wear heels to school because I know how painful they can be.  I wear heels every day and sometimes I get blisters.  I never want you to be hurt but I let you make your own decision.  I think you learned an important lesson.”

Whining kid:  “Yeah.  You want me to be unpopular.”

And that, my friends, is the definition of drama.

heels

 

 

Categories: Daily Prompt, Family, Humor, Life, Parenting, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

My Half’s Bigger Than Yours

Daily Prompt:  Divide  – Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt

Who was the brilliant parent who discovered how to teach children to share by giving them the responsibility of dividing the goodies?  I came late to this lesson but am still amazed at the look on the childrens’ faces the first time I used this technique.

There’s one piece of cake left and two children who want it:

Me:  OK – Child #1, you divide the cake in half.  (I watched the munchkin grin as the cake was divided into two pieces, one obviously larger than the other.)

Me:  OK – Child #2, you choose which piece you want.

Child #1 – That’s not fair!

And, ever after, when those two children were asked to share anything you can bet it was divided with surgical precision.

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Categories: Daily Prompt, Family, Humor, Parenting, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

A Ghost in the Toilet

Daily Prompt:  Secret – Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

“Grammy, can I tell you a secret?”

Oh, no.  She’s going to tell me something horrible that I can’t handle;  that she’s being bullied, or that her mommy and daddy are fighting or that she got in trouble and is afraid to tell her parents or about someone’s inappropriate behavior or that one of her friends is in trouble. It doesn’t matter, I will be calm and handle any crisis she needs to confide.

“Of course.  You can tell me anything and I won’t be upset.  I will always be here to help you.”

Looking up at me with trusting, innocent seven-year old eyes she pressed her sweet little lips against my ear and whispered, “Myrtle died in the girls bathroom at school.”

“WHAT?” I shrieked.

“Yes.” Lowering her eyes dramatically and shaking her little head, Rebekah continued. “She drowned when the giant snake came up through the sinks and broke the water pipes and now her ghost lives in the toilets. But don’t tell anyone because she comes and talks to me and my friends when we go to the  bathroom after lunch.”

“Oh, you’ve met Moaning Myrtle?”  She looked at me with admiration and started to giggle.

Thanks Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets.  You’ve made me a hero in Rebekah’s eyes.

“I won’t tell a living soul.”

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Remember to Remove the Tea Bags from the Washing Machine

I had this bright idea to tea-dye some muslin to use as sashing in a vintage quilt project I’m designing.  I bought some wonderful original feedsack material, circa 1930-1940, that I want to make into a Disappearing Four Patch quilt and then try my hand at hand quilting.

I usually tea-dye in the bathtub but had a “Eureka!” moment and decided to use the washing machine.  I threw a couple yards of unbleached muslin in the machine, turned the water temp to hot and added eight tea bags.  Then I let it stew overnight.  All was well until I set the machine to rinse and forgot to take out the tea bags.

At first I couldn’t imagine what all the little dark specks were all over the fabric until a dessicated tea bag fell on my foot.  Jeez, I had a horrible flashback to the day I took my 3-year old’s jeans out of the washer and a very dead, but clean, frog fell out of the pocket.  That day the little specks were frog eyes and other disgusting particles.   Anyway, I rinsed the machine several times with cold water, shook out the muslin and dried it (changing the filter several times) and, voila!  My tea-dyed muslin has just the vintage look I wanted.

This DIY project turned out much better than earlier this week when I tried a Pinterest natural solution to clean my oven.  I made the paste of baking powder and water & smeared it all over the inside of the oven door, but then forgot and pre-heated the oven to 425 degrees for pizza.   I’ll let you know how the quilt turns out.

IMG_20160228_1119494_rewind

Categories: Family, Humor, Life, Quilting, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Dragging My Feet on an Intergalactic Journey

sDaily Prompt – Longing for Gravity: You are on a mission to Mars. Because of the length of of the journey, you will never be able to return to Earth. What about our blue planet will you miss the most?

 

This is easy – I wouldn’t go.  My astronaut aspirations only entail takeoff, a couple of orbits around the earth and re-entry, preferably in Hawaii. NASA can beg and plead, but I’m not going unless I can take my kids and grandkids with me.  I have a five-month old granddaughter and I’m not sure NASA has conquered the technology of changing poopy diapers in weightless conditions.

Besides, I’d rather be a cowgirl.

cropped-camping6.jpg

 

 

 

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Sisters Camping Trip # 3 – Preparation

Casita

So, the Princess and I survived our first two camping adventures without hurting each other.  I always try mightily to back my Casita travel trailer into our camp site but I echo Blanche DuBois (A Streetcar Named Desire), “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers,” when I fail miserably.  My job is to sweat and cuss and try and try again to back the camper in the right direction.  Yes, I know you have to turn the wheel in the opposite direction from where you want the trailer to go. The Princess’ job is to stand around looking adorable with an an imploring look & pleading smile while nearby campers rush to volunteer to back the trailer in for us.  I guess it takes a village.  Whatever.

sa4

This time we’re heading to St. George Island State Park in the Florida panhandle.  We’ll camp on the beach and explore Apalachicola and other coastal towns.  We’ll eat lots of seafood — shrimp, oysters, mullet, etc.  It’s going to be cold (30’s-40’s at night) so walks on the beach may mean bundling up in several layers. Picture two female Pillsbury dough boys and pray we don’t trip.  “We’ve fallen and we can’t get up.”

I’ve prepared and frozen two meals, chili one night and chicken cacciatore for another night.  I plan to store them in the freezer compartment to help keep the refrigerator cold, then use my slow cooker to defrost and heat up our dinner when we’re ready.  I’m buying steaks & Idaho potatoes for our first night. Since we don’t have a very good track record with grilling on an outdoor fire, I’ll buy New York strips instead of rib eyes just in case our dreams go up in smoke (again).  The Princess is responsible for cocktails and appetizers for the trip and local restaurants and bars will fill in the gaps.weenie

I live in southwest Florida and the Princess lives in central Florida so we coordinate our departure times and meet at the confluence of I-75 and the Florida Turnpike in Wildwood.   Her husband transfers her luggage (matching pieces of course) to my car and off we go.

I’ll let you know when we get there.

 

 

 

 

Categories: Aging Gracefully, Camping, Family, Humor, Life, Retirement, Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Princess and the Pee

Daily Prompt:  Roaring Laughter – What was the last thing that gave you a real, authentic, tearful, hearty belly laugh? Why was it so funny?

I am re-posting the blog I did about the last time I had a fall-on-the-ground, laughing till I hurt moment.  Next week I will be camping with The Princess and expect to have many more such moments to report.

https://wanderwomanblog.com/2015/03/26/the-princess-and-the-pee/

stop-i-am-going-to-pee

 

Categories: Aging Gracefully, Daily Prompt, Family, Humor, Life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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